S. 40(a)(ia): Non-jurisdictional High Court prevails over Special Bench
For AY 2005-06, the AO disallowed Rs. 47.26 lakhs u/s 40(a)(ia) on the ground that the TDS had not been paid in time. The assessee claimed that the amendment to s. 40(a)(ia) by the Finance Act 2010 w.e.f. 1.4.2010 to provide that no disallowance could be made if the TDS was paid on or before the due date specified in s. 139(1) was retrospective in nature as held in CIT vs. Virgin Creations and that the contrary ruling of the Special Bench in Bharti Shipyard Ltd vs. DCIT 132 ITD 53 (Mum) could not be followed. HELD by the Tribunal:
In Virgin Creations the Calcutta High Court has passed a reasoned order and held that the amendment to s. 40(a)(ia) is retrospective in nature. The binding nature of the decision of the Special Bench when a lone decision of non-jurisdictional High Court is available on the very same issue was examined in the Third Member decision in Kanel Oil & Export Ltd 121 ITD 596 where it was held that where there is only a judgement of the non-jurisdictional High Court prevails over an order of the Special Bench even though it is from the jurisdictional Bench (of the Tribunal). As the Calcutta High Court’s decision is the lone one on the issue whether s. 40(a)(ia) is retrospective, it has to be followed in preference to the decision of the Special Bench of the Tribunal in Bharti Shipyard Ltd. Consequently, amounts in respect of which TDS is paid on or before the due date of filing the ROI is eligible for deduction.